William J. Hernandez Hatchery – On-hold. Concept involving the greater buy-in from community in Anchorage. The idea is to develop a bio-filtration and digestion system to capture waste effluent solids, convert suspended ammonia, nitrates to cultivate fresh produce and algae for food and medicine. Right now, several challenges, such as a lack of market and infrastructure, very short season temps, high capital investment and risk holding this project back. Although research continues – we are in the process of testing a recipe that will increase our capacity to compost with sub-par environmental, where temperature and liquid content are otherwise prohibitive.
Project: Farmhand – Researching feasibility. Recently sent out the concept to fellow students and friends. Seven out of thirty-three recipients provided input, with a majority of support. There seems to be a market, so I’m starting to explore the logistics, challenges and economics of urban families working together on one anothers’ sustainable farm and garden installations, developing “real” skills, and applying them to community, charity and paid contracts. The structure would be a Benefit Corp., with mixed funding, volunteer and through compensated services.
www.EcoLogic.Shop – Conceptual. With a personal spin on dropshipping, the Ecologic shop is an anti-consumer venue for selling the intellectual properties for sustainible DIY projects, recipes, formulas for use in building and living on urban farms, homesteads and communities. Free shipping. In fact, almost no shipping, if successful.
Urban garden at Jungle Way in Sarasota – Approved (May 13-17). An owner has contracted us to build a 400 square-foot annual garden and food forest on a half-acre residential dwelling in a zone 9b-10a. The soils are the typical sandy Florida natural, with high sun/heat factors. Our proposal outlines a means to stabilize the soils and retain rainwater by building tilth with organics using a hybrid of hugelkulture-lasagna (layered). We also proposed to add an active automated irrigation system which they rejected, and instead, opted for natural/manual irrigation to reduce the cost of the project.
Johne’s Disease Research, Nationwide – Approved. Currently in testing in the Florida region prior to taking on the road. An independent research study requires soil samples from farms all over the United States. We proposed to sample farms from Florida to Oregon during our multi-state road trip. The study aims to isolate concentrations of mycobacteriophages on ruminant farms reporting Johne’s Disease. The “phage” is known to be one of alternatives to anti-biotics, and the increasing resistance of infectious diseases.
www.Domes.Design – Approved. A carpenter in Wasilla, Alaska is proposing to build residential domes out of aircrete. The technology infuses traditional concrete with foam to get a lightweight panel-style alternative to the monolithic dome building process. We will be dedicating a small website and jump-start marketing efforts.
Project Cielo Azul, Nicaragua – Abandonded due to funding. Of personal interest, sailing has long been the most sustainable means for world travel. In attempts to secure a “fixxer-upper” sailboat to live on and travel with, we located a yacht in distress. Within a week of advertising on known sailing forums, we put together a crew consisting of off-duty merchant mariners, mechanics, a skipper and a videographer that would have met in Nicaragua, made repairs to the vessel and sailed it out to friendlier waters. Though the boat was cheap, the risk was too high. We would have needed another $5k-10k contingency buffer to mitigate that risk.
Alaskan Homestead & Ecolodge, Jupiter Garden – In-Progress.
This project is a rehabilitation (phase 1 slideshow) project which converted an original Alaskan homestead in the lower hillside of Anchorage, Alaska into farm-style guest and event quarters. It is nestled in a rural homestead landscape backed against natural woodlands and wildlife habitat. We have served just over one thousand guests from over 60 countries between 2014 and today. As of 2018 the interior is complete, and from 2019 forward, we will be making exterior improvements, planning and building gardens, greenhouse, water catchment, fruiting trees, perennials to improve self-sufficiency.